March of Dimes

The internet is a funny thing. You hear about internet evils every day in the media. However, I want to tell you a good story about social networking. Remember the Open Studio Friday about Ken Rieves the photographer? I "met" Ken on Twitter, even though he lives in the same city as me.
My husband is on the board for the Northeast Indiana Chapter of the March of Dimes. He is also the committee chair for the big fundraiser of the year, the Chefs Signature Auction. I am not on the committee and didn't volunteer to help. However, I was volunteered anyway ;o) I am happy to help because the March of Dimes is a program that is close to my heart, but I will explain why in a minute-just bear with me.
I emailed Ken about possibly donating a photography service to the silent auction portion of the fundraiser and maybe even taking some photos in a local NICU for a slideshow to run during the "tasting" portion of the event. He agreed immediately and has already put in SEVERAL hours working on this project. Here are a couple photos he posted on his blog. You can see more here

Photo by Ken Rieves

Photo by Ken Rieves
If you are within the greater Ft Wayne area, please consider attending the chefs signature auction. It really is lots of fun! It's like going to several restaurants for one meal. Each local chef serves a "signature" dish in small portions. The food is delicious, the desserts awesome and this year will include a wine tasting! There will be a silent auction during the "eating" portion of the event, followed by a short presentation and a live auction. Usually each chef offers up a package for a party of 8 (give or take) people in their restaurant. There will also be some other fun stuff. Even if you are not interested in supporting the March of Dimes, it will be a fun evening and a great date night! I already have my outfit picked out ;o) OK, it's the same outfit I wear every year because it's the only time each year I need to dress up. LOL!
I promised to tell you why the March of Dimes is important to me. The next couple photos were taken by my husband 12 years ago. Our first child was born 16 weeks premature. We named him Caleb. He weighed a whopping 2 pounds and lived 11 days. I have better (although very few) photos of him, but I like this one because this was the first time I got to see him. When I touched his little hand, his fingers curled around my one finger.
And this here is why I support the March of Dimes...because if we can prevent one family from going through the same heartache that we went through, it will be worth it. That casket hidden beneath the spray of flowers? It's the size of a shoebox.

I am able to talk about my experience because we have been blessed in more ways than I could possibly count in the last 12 years. And, quite frankly, time heals. It does. I will admit that most of the time when I think about it, it seems more like a really bad dream that didn't actually happen. But when I look at these photos, the memories and the pain all come rushing back.

There are a few photos that are so beyond my ability to cope that I cannot look at them, I don't share them with anybody, and those stay boxed up. Maybe someday I can look at them...but probably not because they show the pain etched upon our faces as we held our dying son for the last...and only time.

Comments

Kristen

Jenn, that was heart wrenching. I'm so sorry for your families loss, it is indeed something that is very difficult to ever put behind you. I'm sure little Caleb is looking down and smiling seeing all the wonderful things you do for the fundraiser and to support the March of Dimes. Time does heal all wounds, and you have many blessings to be thankful for. Your strength astounds me. Ken's photographs are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.

WondrousStrange

You have touched my heart...

Ginga Squid

That made me cry - I can't imagine going through that. I just can't.V x

Jennifer Cameron

Thank you for taking the time to read through the entire post. It was difficult to write and I try to stay away from subjects too personal or too "heavy" as a general rule, but needed to share this time. I truly am a very happy person with more blessings than I probably deserve ;o) and am very rarely serious about anything.

rosebud101

Oh, my! You are so brave and courageous to share your story! Thank you!

Pretty Things

I don't even have the proper words. You're amazingly strong.

Kelly B.

The Ft. Wayne area is greatly blessed having James on staff. And James is greatly blessed to have you as a support. Your photos and story of Caleb are heartfelt . You have a beautiful family and good luck with the silent auction!

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